On The Brink Of Divorce: Should You Settle Or Go to Trial?
Divorce cases require an advanced understanding of local laws, and petitioners must comply with these laws when starting a case. It can become complex and difficult for both parties, and going to trial may present higher costs and an unwanted outcome. Most attorneys recommend settling with the spouse whenever possible to avoid a trial.
How Are Marital Assets Divided?
In Texas, marital property is classified as community property, and all marital assets must be divided equally. If either party has an asset before the marriage or received it through inheritance, they must show proof that it is separate property. If they can’t, a judge could include all assets into the divorce settlement if they go to trial.
When it comes to marital assets, settling out of court could prevent the judge from assigning ownership to a property that was never marital property. It could also give the couple a chance to negotiate to get a more reasonable settlement if they compromise. Couples that are having difficulties in dividing marital property should get help from a lawyer now.
How Are Child Custody Arrangements Set Up?
Custody arrangements determine who spends the most time with the children and defines a parting schedule. The non-custodial or non-primary parent must provide child support to the other parent. If the couple cannot agree on child custody or support, they would need a separate hearing after the divorce case goes to court.
This could lead to a more detrimental situation for both the parents and the children. Some jurisdictions require the parents to attend parenting classes before the end of the divorce or before a custody hearing. If a custody hearing is necessary, the parents do not make any decisions, the judge does.
How Long Does the Defendant Have to Respond?
All defendants in a divorce have 20 days to respond to the divorce summons and projected divorce agreement. If they do not respond, there is a 30 to 60 day waiting period before the judge signs the final decree. If the terms of the divorce are amicable, it is wise to sign the papers and proceed with the divorce. This could decrease the overall cost of getting divorced, and as long as both parties are getting a fair share of the marital estate and an acceptable child custody arrangement, they should consider settling.
When Is Mediation Needed?
Mediation is another costly option for reaching an agreement out of court. It is recommended for couples who have a large marital estate. It gives both parties a chance to discuss the divorce agreement and reach a settlement if possible without court intervention.
What You Should Know About A Divorce Trial
A divorce trial could take up to two years to complete, and neither party can move on with their lives until the divorce is final. If they start a romantic relationship outside of their marriage during this time, it could work against them in the eyes of the court. A judge makes all final decisions for the divorce, and it is quite difficult to change these decisions in the future.
When filing for a divorce, it is recommended that both parties work together to reach an amicable agreement as soon as possible. If they can, the divorce case will not last as long, and everyone can move on with their lives. By going to court, every aspect of the marriage becomes public record, and a judge renders all final decisions.